Monday, May 31, 2010

freedom

What I think I know is I am so very grateful to be surrounded by people who at least pretend to listen to my little soapbox speeches.

And how great is it that I have these family and friends who so freely share their stories.

Thank you Angie, Mike, Josh and Priscilla for reminding me what freedom feels like. You are complete treasures.

And thank you, Slater, for allowing me to be that free.

Thank you anyone, anywhere who knew or knows how important freedom is. So much so they risk their own freedom.

I am in complete and utter gratitude.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

smile

Things to do before I die.

1. Dance with John Travolta....
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ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. TO ANY MUSIC. AMEN.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

trying

It could be said that this has been a trying week. One which has tried my patience, tried my faith, tried my stamina and tried my sanity.

Yet I'm still trying. Trying to do the best I can, trying to be kind to those around me, trying to understand that each day is simply another step in a beautiful journey.

Some days all you have is the trying.

So, yeah, I'm grateful for the ability and willingness to try.

Addendum:

Only moments after posting this I spoke with a friend, who had already read the post. I'm at the very least flattered by such a quick read, and I think part of the conversation needs to be documented here if for no other reason because I am lucky enough to have someone in my life who references Yoda.

Him: I just read your blog.

Me: Wow! That was a quick read. Thank you for being interested.

Long silence.

Me: Ummmmmm...that's all you have to say????

Him: What would Yoda say?

Me: How the hell would I know? What would he say?

Him: Try not. Be.


I love that.

What a wonderful gift I received early on a Friday morning.

Just be. Cut yourself some slack. Stop trying so fucking hard.

Happy Friday to ya'. I love YOU, my sweet readers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

pleurotus ostreatus

I don't watch the news. I don't read the newspaper. The things I think I know seem to come to me rather haphazardly. But then maybe not. Some people may say that I have my head in the sand, and that's okay as well.

Being somewhat tied to the recent oil spill in the Gulf via a familial relation and in a seemingly unrelated incident having watched in my leisure a documentary called Know Your Mushrooms (yeah, I just admitted that)it occurred to me that the oyster mushroom is an intriguing little fungus.

And yes, my brain just said, "there's a fungus among us." Cause there's still a part of me that's a twelve year old girl who likes to giggle.

In all seriousness, people like Paul Stamets end up making me snicker a bit with some of their statements. Yet I can't help but think I know that deep down this Earth has all the answers and is fully capable of handling it's own issues. Working with it has got to be our best option considering it would have no problem handling us as well.

All this from the chic who murdered tomato plants last year.

Monday, May 24, 2010

dialogue

A few years ago I was working on dialogue in short stories. Then I stopped. Kinda. It seems that I didn't have to write a short story to work on dialogue. I just needed to be introduced to Sweet Buckwheat Fruit Loop Billy Sue Goff. You can simply call her Billy Sue if you'd like.



Me: Yo, Billy Sue. Wazzup?

Billy Sue: I'm sitting here chillaxin. Why? What are you doing?

Me: Pretty much the same. Just trying to get used to this camera.

Billy Sue: Camera? What does it taste like?

Me: It doesn't taste. You can't eat it. It's not food.

Billy Sue: Yeah, why don't you just roll on over and take a little nap. I'll stand guard over the camera-not-food thingie. No worries.

Me: You're the best, Billy Sue.

Billy Sue: Yeah, yeah. Just go on to sleep.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

living love

"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy you."
Wayne Dyer

I'll admit it. I haven't always thought this way. My love could have had some expectations at times, some strings attached...oh hell, who am I kidding, sometimes I tied a giant, damn rope to it. Like a noose maybe.

Love feels better and so much easier now.

I am grateful for this.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

optic nerve stimulation

It's graduation night, and I've got a problem. Family and friends are gathered in the kitchen, and I'm trying to get THAT picture of THE boy. Our problem is the pose. What did who say....an observed subject is changed simply by the act of observation. Something like that.

I'm attempting to get a particular shot with an unfamiliar camera, gradually crawling into the digital age. His poses are contained, thought out rather than felt. I press on by using one the most distasteful jokes ever heard but the only one I've remembered since the age of eleven. Slater has heard it so many times that just the first line makes him laugh. Not because it's funny, but because his Mom is that depraved.

I point the camera, look him in the eyes and say, "There once was this man who went off to war, and while he was gone his wife had a baby." I think he may have smiled to silence me.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

sweet shrub

I'm sitting at a lovely table. The 10am sun is pushing west through a window to the right. Three beautiful, intelligent, fascinating women are seated with me. It's quite an honor, and, for just a moment, we're gathered to celebrate Motherhood. Cause, hey, you know me, I've got one of the best.

Again, seriously.

She. Rocks.

She's also got her friend, Angela from Australia, there, and wadayano people who rock seem to find each other. Though you and I already knew that, right?

Angela and I are in this religious discussion. It seems she has found great solace and huge inspiration with a certain, unspecified in this post, religion. We'll just go ahead and say that this religion possibly relies heavily on a witnessing type of program, a marketing strategy perhaps, to enlist what I would call an army of sorts. The mere fact that I am so verbally resisting becoming a petty officer means I could have possibly painted a target on my head. All in all, you, my reader, can already get a sense of how this discussion is going.

Actually, it's fantastic. Thrilling. I am sitting there with strong, passionate women and we're having this really intriguing conversation about our perceptions. And it's beautiful. It's not hateful at all. There is a distinct freedom to be who you are and be loved for it. This home, my sweet Mother's house, is that place. She is, without a doubt, a master of unconditional love.

Of course, I couldn't speak of that place without speaking of this guy who ever so often walks in the room and places a pinchful of some type of shrub clippings in a small, teak bowl sitting on the table in front of me. He and I have got some history so I don't hesitate picking up that bowl and bringing it to my nose.

It is the sweetest smell. Mild, maybe more fruity. Quite perfect so I ask this guy, who has been brave enough to mosey on in amongst estrogen ignited, where he got this stuff. I wish for you I could write exactly what he said and how he said it. I can't. All I can remember now is there is this plant called a sweet shrub, which grows rather easily on the outer banks of the Buckatunna Creek, and my Daddy is so familiar with the regional vegetation that he realizes it's value.

At some point in his life, or maybe throughout his entire existence, he became intimately involved with the land that surrounded him. I, on the other hand, never really stopped long enough to smell a shrub. This day I mention...he taught me in his own sweet, subtle way, once again, to take note of the beauty that surrounds me.

I am so very grateful for those parents of mine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

faith

Everything is exactly as it should be.

It's funny now to think that only a few years ago I rode around taking pictures of church signs all over the state of Mississippi in an effort to reinforce this very notion.

Monday, May 17, 2010

soundtrack

Let's pretend life is a movie. Your eyes are the camera. If you have a narrator you know he/she has got to be the ego and we all know you may as well get rid of the narrator 'cause in a movie the story is always best shown rather than told.

Then there's the music. The melodies that bind the scenes play a vital role in my movie. I love music. It connects me, feeds my soul, tears my heart out and pieces me back together. I would love to write about it and pay tribute to all those groups and individuals who have graciously provided the music for my movie. That would take way too long. Yet I would be remiss if I didn't document the current kick my ass, inspire me, motivate me, break my heart, turn me on to no end tunes rocking my world.

Needless to say, I'm a bonafide blues girl. From head to toe, but if you have even a blues appendage then I think Dan Auerbach could take you to a really great place. Interestingly enough, his album, Keep it Hid, was the first entire album that Slater and I fully connected on. So it's gotta be good, huh?

Here's where he breaks your heart...



But look, he and Patrick then Set You Free on the fantastic, oh please...I listen to it every morning, Black Keys' album Thickfreakness.



Really, I'll stop now but not before Dan takes us home.



I am so very, very grateful for music.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

essence of hearing

It was a small, one bedroom house in Tunica. Quaint, not too much to clean. Rather perfect for the insta-family. I was young and incredibly naive. So much so that whenever the hospital had released me with a new baby boy I was genuinely shocked that they would not be sending a nurse with me. It seemed obvious to me, and I didn't know why others didn't see it. I was clearly ill equipped to actually take responsibility for another human life.

Seriously.

Yet there we were, my baby and me.

Months later, I don't know how many exactly, he and I were in that little house. And I guess I had finally just decided that if all those other people around me weren't scared for his life then I might as well have a little faith as well. I'm sure I'd already done my "Cher" workout tape while he sat in his little swing, rocking back and forth, still possibly thinking to himself, "how'd I end up here?" We were having one of our little play moments where he's laid out on a baby blanket, face up. I was coochy, coochy, cooing and giving zerberts on his belly just to see him smile when all of a sudden....

in that little room with those dark, panelled walls....

there came the most precious moment of my life, the greatest gift I've ever received.....

Slater's first belly laugh.

It surprised both of us. We froze and looked at each other. He amazed at the sound he created, how it felt. And, I....OH MY GOSH. I don't know how to describe it other than to say there is NO SWEETER SOUND. It stirred me, something inside me wanted to simply hear that for the rest of my life. And I think if Slater and I had a story that needed to be simply put I'd just have to say that there were these two people and one of 'em just kept trying to make the other one laugh.

Hopefully, nobody will ever stop at this site for parenting advice 'cause God knows I have none. Absolutely zero. ZILCH. How he will graduate with honors this Thursday night, with all limbs attached, a few scars and a smile on his face is a complete miracle.

People ask me if I'm gonna cry, and all I can say is if I do the tears will be drops of laughter. Cause if God feels the way about me that I do about Slater Goff then I figure that's the best gift I can give Him for getting us to this point.

Paintball Strategy #3: Carry a small shovel, dig a shallow grave and bury myself until it's over. Okay, so maybe that's my parenting advice.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

no title

My first thought this morning was that I needed to label this day....clean house day, be lazy day, buy groceries day....and then I thought maybe I wouldn't label the day. Wouldn't fill it early with any expectations.

Considering I totally blew my humility work while at the same time placing a big bulls eye on my back yesterday during a conference call it may be necessary to not set the bar too high for myself today.

Paintball Strategy #2: Shoot off the middle toe of my left foot the day of the game. That way I could have a little visit to the ER while the boys are playing. I've never had the prettiest feet, and this could very well be future conversation fodder at any pool party I attend.

Friday, May 14, 2010

day two

I think I lack inspiration so I am just taking it one day at a time. Step by step. Word by word. Simply putting something here.

Yesterday I got invited to the June sales meeting in Rockford. And, yes, this definitely feeds the ego during the same week I've had my own little self improvement class on humility. Interesting to think, though, that the ego feeding sales meeting may be the best lesson in humility yet considering I will be playing frickin paint ball with seven guys. Doesn't that hurt? Oh good gosh.

Slater is going to try and instruct me but yesterday when he was telling me how I should just run at them shooting like a mad woman it occurred to me that maybe he's not on my side. Thus, I have some time to come up with my own paintball strategy.

Paintball Strategy #1: No trash talking. This from the girl who could essentially force Ghandi to impose physical harm on her with trash talking.
Sweet Friday. I am truly grateful for my job.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

this morning

Hey, Mom.
Just sitting here wondering if you and Angela are out on a balcony down in Florida, drinking your cup of coffee, talking and laughing. I hope so, and I think you probably are. Anyway, I received the following Bible verse this morning and found it quite profound. If we are going to take this literally then I would have to ask what did the writer mean when he said "whole heart"? I think he meant in the very moment of now. There is no past, no future. It is the now and with complete wonderment and joy you look out to the world and go "Wow, this is fantastic. Thank you." I can't think of a better prayer.
I love you and am so very grateful for you.
Shea

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psalm 119:10 (King James)